The project e-Audiences deals with the analysis of diverse media usage, from old to new media, their interdependencies and interconnectedness at a national level, and aims to contribute to a European comparative study that is being developed in the COST ACTION IS0906 context, on how media
The project proposes a model for analyzing the emerging digital media in a socio-constructivist perspective and the internet potential as an integrative platform infrastructure that plays a key role in the flow of social and cultural practices. This model was initially advanced by Jensen & Helles (2011), research partners at the European comparative study, envisioning the internet as a platform infrastructure that allows the articulation and convergence of different mass media. The present project intends to apply this model in the current Portuguese population, via both quantitative and qualitative methods of analysis, comparing results with other European countries, and proposing an additional input, based on the potential of internet to articulate not only mass media, but also personal media consumption. This proposal is consistent with the search for new paradigms of communication that envision the internet as a platform that mix both one-to-one, one-to-many, and many-to-many communication, via synchronous or asynchronous vectors.
e-Audiences presents a longitudinal research design that combines qualitative and quantitative methods, based on four steps and on Jensen & Helles (2011) model for studying the emerging digital media environment and evaluating the central role the internet might have in it. The four steps involve, firstly, an exploratory study of secondary data on media consumption in Europe and in Portugal, and on the role of the internet as a potential expression of mass media. Secondly, the project includes a qualitative research on stakeholders’ perception of inter-relationship between diverse media and on the internet’s potential to integrate mass and personal media. On a third stage, the project proposes a quantitative study with a representative online sample of the Portuguese population sing Jensen & Helles (2010) inquiry and a subsequent collaboration e comparison between sample of the Portuguese population using Jensen & Helles (2010) inquiry and a subsequent collaborative comparison between the data collected at a national level in different European countries, in order to better understand how media conception, consumption and use changes across Europe. Lastly, the fourth stage includes a study based on focus group analysis in which we intend to access, in a more reflective way, users’ perspective of media inter-relationship and the role of the internet in the media setting, allowing us to better comprehend users’ view and the results from the quantitative study.